Ology Essentials Intimate Oil
And Condoms: Information and Test Results
Ology Essentials is a research driven company—we research every detail of every single ingredient used in all of our products. If it matters to our customers, it is important to us. There is some debate online about the safety of oil based lubricants with condoms. That is why Ology Essentials tested our Intimate Oil to ensure that it did not degrade or break down condoms. We did a deep dive on
the research, chemistry, and data available as well as running tests.
In our research we found a study by Voeller et al. (1989) found that mineral oil causes a 90%decrease in strength of latex condoms (Voeller et al. 1989.) This raises considerable concern for consumers when it comes to any oil-based lubricant. We wanted to ensure that the carrier oils in our products did not decrease the strength of latex or polyurethane condoms.
Voeller et al tested prolonged exposure of latex to common lubricants using average duration of sexual intercourse between 60 seconds and 1 hour. The tests demonstrated that it took only 60 seconds for mineral oil to damage the latex condoms. The common lubricants used in tests were water, light mineral oil, Squibb Mineral Oil, Johnson's Baby Oil, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, glycerol, and an aqueous solution of the spermicidal agent nonoxynol-9.
Ology Essentials does not use mineral oil in any of our products. We chose our carrier oils because they have a good slip and will not cause sheets, clothing or towels to go rancid. The foundation of Ology Essentials Intimate Oil is fractionated coconut oil, which is a fraction of whole coconut oil that has had the long-chain fatty acids removed, leaving behind only the medium chain saturated fatty (MCT) acids. Fractionated coconut oil is triglyceride and not an alkane like mineral oil. Why does this matter? Because alkanes and triglycerides react differently with latex. Ology Essential also uses Meadowfoam Oil for its extraordinary good slip, odorless property, exceptional stability, and superior skin feel. Meadowfoam is a fully reﬁned triglyceride and is made up with over 98% long chain fatty acids.
Non-polar solvents are known to degrade latex. Common non-polar solvents include carbon tetrachloride, benzene (found in detergents), and diethyl ether, hexane (found in petroleum jelly), and methylene chloride (used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and coffee decaffeination). Mineral oil is a non-polar solvent and is made up of a mixture of various non-polar distillates of petroleum. Fractionated coconut oil and meadowfoam oil are non-polar substances, but not non-polar solvents. A non-polar substances’ molecules are hydrophobic or water fearing, quite simply meaning that it repels water. A non-polar solvent dissolve non-polar substances.
Latex is made up of cross-linked polymeric material. Mineral oil acts as a solvent that interrupts the polymer chains in latex condoms which weakens the material. In contrast triglycerides are too large and less polar and thus cannot diffuse into the latex network and does not weaken latex.
Ology Essentials Test
We wanted to double check all this research by running an in-house study using both latex and polyurethane condoms. Condoms were soaked in the intimate oil for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 24 hours. After soaking condoms were inspected for visible degradation and then filled with 100 mL of warm water (110 degrees F). Once filled with water approximately 21 kg of force was used by hand to squeeze water filled condoms to search for leaks. Absolutely no leaks were detected, and condoms did not burst from force exerted. Water filled condoms were then allowed to sit overnight with Intimate Oil on the exterior. All condoms were inspected for leaks. No leaks were detected.
Condoms tested included Sustained Natural ultra-thin lubricated latex condoms, Trojan Supra micro-sheer Polyurethane ultra-thin lubricated condoms, Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy ultra-smooth latex condoms, and Lelo Hex re-engineered latex natural rubber latex condoms.